Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Resolving Irresolute Resolutions

Life Deals the Cards, We Sort Them into Winning Hands !

Ho ho ho ho ! The Merry Season is here. Jingle Bells, Tinkle Bells, Plum Cake and Pudding. Christmas Joy and Cheer. The Yellow Brick Lane to Renewal, Resurgence and Restitution. Down the Lane from Yuletide, is the Corner to a Big Bang New Year ! One filled with Promise, Hope and Resolutions. Oops !! Where did that slip in from ?

I guess you already know where we are going to. New Year Resolutions, the most exciting to make, and most often, the easiest to break. At least that has been the case with most people I know and certainly with me too !

So why do we still make New Year Resolutions ? And still break them ? The “Thrill o’ Will” power struggle with “ Damn the Sham” I guess. Or just old “brainwired” habit, a ritual that routinely clicks into place.

Lets ask a few questions :

Why make resolutions at all ?
Why worry if we break them ?
Why wait until New Year to do so ?
How relevant are our resolutions to our real problems ?
How researched are our resolutions that they deliver significantly?
Can resolutions be changed as the situation changes ?
Should resolutions be changed anyway ?
How important are resolutions to altering our lives driven by destiny ?

We can go on of-course with innumerable questions to numb our mind and senses to the subject, so that we can then let it wither away from our zone of concern, leave alone our zone of influence and action.

Lets therefore see some of the logic behind New Year’s Resolutions :

The New Year is when we clear the page of life and start afresh.
The New Year has a common sense of renewal and resurgence which can find an emotional tie with our resolutions
The New Year denies the seamlessness of time that chains us down to our committed lives and helps get us of the old hook.
Every New Year seems to indicate a turning or tipping point in life. Resolutions made at the tipping or turning point are usually made with far greater insight than when made routinely.
Making resolutions are great fun. They allow us to air our dreams. Dreams given oxygen can live longer than those suffocated.
Resolutions are a release of the soul. We can unburden all our guilt of the past and commit them to the future, where we believe we can be more powerful to handle it.
Resolutions tell us what we really want, but cannot seem to get.
Resolutions are a way of making us conscious of what’s blocking our path to success or happiness.
Breaking resolutions are surprisingly an expected event, as the deeply rooted behavioral shift that is expected to accompany the resolution to implementation is often too difficult to accomplish in one go.

So what are we left with ????

Let us see if we can make some sense of all of this.

According to me, I could not agree more with the answers above.
It is difficult to give up old behavior we are emotionally attached to or have found even secret comfort with, in favour of a shining new but difficult-to-do behavior which creates extreme discomfort. It’s like wanting to shift home to a new fantastic place but have nothing to do with the back-breaking and often heart-breaking clearing, sorting, disposing and moving process at all ! But at least we now have embedded the desire to move. And we have an address.

I love making resolutions at New Year and I am delight at breaking some of them too. Funny or crazy or perhaps both ? But I do learn from them to some extent. This learning I fill into the gaps of my existing goal sheet and then it makes more sense.

The Blueprint of my life is a Five Pointed Star of Purpose and Direction.
I regularly set time framed meaningful, measurable and monitored goals in each area.

Every New Year resolution I make, must somehow connect with my 5 point Star. I must see the connect and deeply desire the difference it will make to my Star. This is the key to keeping or breaking resolutions made. It’s all about how much we really want it at the conscious and unconscious level of our thinking process. Resolutions reframe and redirect our efforts to meet our goals.

The blueprint of my life however is not set at New Year’s eve. It is an ongoing process of refining my dream. Sometime back I sat down and asked myself what goals I had in life and what was the quality of my goals ? I realized much to my shock, that my busy life was being run by happenstance rather than design. It took me a while to lay out a design and I have found this useful. May I offer this to you to see if you would like to try it out too.

The Tip of my Star is my Life Goal or my ultimate dream as crazy as it may seem. I do not change my Life Goal but continue to validate and qualify it, to keep deriving a greater sense of purpose to my life, in order to set direction
Around my dream, revolve my Personal Goals that support it, such as Health, Relationships, Social, Lifestyle, Habits some of which may also reflect in the categories below.

The other Four Points of my Star are:

My Career Goals ( My job, my designation, my advancement in my field, my professional path )
My Professional Equity Goals ( My History Sheet : What makes me Good and Reliable- the reasons why someone would invest in me namely my knowledge, skills, competences, qualifications, additional certification and so on.
My Brand Equity Goals (My Unique Selling Proposition, What I Want to be Known For, My Mindshare Flag – just as any Brand has to be developed to be an automatic choice of the market right across the segment )
My Leadership Goals (My ability to Lead, Influence, Impact and Inspire others – one does not need hierarchy to hold us hostage to the power of leadership, for leadership needs to be a way of life, anywhere in the pyramid of society or the organization )

At New Year’s eve, I allow my soul to set itself free to quest beyond the blueprint. To light up the new canvass with the same brilliance that the New Year seems to hold. I thrill at the colourful sparkles and fountains of radiance that my resolutions bring to my trusty Star of Life. And some of these glistening shards of my extended reality glitter on my Star as the year goes through. While some of them sprinkle fairy dust around the place. For even in trying and not quite succeeding, the journey itself is blessed and leaves a comet like trail to my shining star.

For this NEW YEAR may I wish you all a wonderful shining STAR of Hope and Promise, complete with glorious comet trails of glittering resolutions that fill your heart with as great a delight as the shining promise the future holds.

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